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Jumper (2008)
A tightly made film that could have been so much better.
12 February 2008
Stunning effects, swooping camera angles, and an interesting concept more than make up for the film's defects - namely Hayden Christensen - reprising the gloomy, wounded, misunderstood, petulant anti-hero role he played so ineffectively in the Star Wars prequels.

The other performances were sound (Samuel L Jackson's hair included) with Jamie Bell particularly outstanding as the nervy Griffin. His performance adds to the frantic energy of the film and every scene without him is the poorer for it.

While the pacing and energy of the film keeps you glued to your seat, it is only on reflection that I realised how unsatisfying the story ultimately was - leaving me with an "is that all?" kind of feeling. The answer, of course, will probably be 'No' as this film seems to have been made with the idea of sequels firmly in sight.

All in all - a tightly made film, with the scenes inside the Colosseum worth the price of admission alone - if only they'd cast someone else in the lead role!
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Doctor Who: Voyage of the Damned (2007)
Season 4, Episode 0
True Meaning of Christmas
20 January 2008
I love Dr Who Christmas episodes and this one not only met but surpassed my expectations. Yes, we all knew Kylie wouldn't be the next assistant, so her storyline was a tad predictable, but it still had it all - pathos, humour, drama, robot angels, and the doctor finally reclaiming himself and his heritage. Great British actors strutted their stuff and a storyline that embraced and subverted Christmas but still delivered a lovely little Christmas message. Forget all the other Christmas television you get this time of year, the true meaning of Christmas is found in watching the Doctor defeat robots intent on destroying England (thanks goodness I live in Australia)
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Cloverfield (2008)
How could a monster movie be this dull?
20 January 2008
I'm always up for a great Hollywood monster movie - nail biting thrills...great special effects...heroes you can very nearly care for. Well this ain't it. The first 15 minutes is just excruciating as we are forced to 'get to know' a group of pretty awful, self satisfied 'Ys'. 15 minutes of pointless, tedious back story that could have been established in 2 minutes. And if that isn't bad enough we are made to watch it all (nauseously) via a hand-held camera. This is followed by 55 minutes watching these same people...or rather their backs...or mostly their feet shakily run from (apparent) horror to horror. The most amazing thing about this movie was how completely lack lustre and dull it is. A seemingly clever idea...but no better than any run of the mill video game out there with a 'run away from the monster premise'. We were conned by the cleverness of the 'ad'- once again no film could live up to the hype, and certainly not one with characters you really don't care about, doing REALLY stupid things for the flimsiest of reasons.
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Best Australian Movie since Lantana
23 August 2005
Thank God! After years of supporting an increasingly tired and predictable Australian film industry, Look Both Ways is a minor miracle. This is as close to a perfect piece of film making I've seen in years. For a movie preoccupied with the nature of death, and how we face issues with mortality, it's entertaining, incredibly moving, never dull and beautifully acted. Sarah Watt (the writer/director) is definitely a person to watch, her mastery of the art of story-telling is well matched by her skill with direction. She extracts fine performances from her cast - with one of her most moving characters only having one line of dialogue - an incredibly rare quality. My faith in the Australian film industry has been restored.
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Zero Effect (1998)
An Indie Gem!
22 December 2004
This small film is a work of art - a low budget film, with pitch perfect performances from a magnificent supporting cast. Bill Pullman is wonderful as the eccentric, but brilliant Darryl Zero, a man who can solve any problem but is incapable of forming a meaningful human relationship. The sly humour, the inspired casting of Ryan O'Neal and Ben Stiller in supporting roles, and the intricate, surprising script make this a must see movies for those who are desperate to see an intelligent film in the sea of dross that Hollywood has been offering up in the past 4 years. See it now - if only for one of the most poignant love scenes you will ever see committed to celluloid!
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